U23 Report: Saints 2-1 Newcastle

By SFC Media Fri 14 Dec Saints v Newcastle
Photo by James Bridle | Jonathan Afolabi
Fri 14 Dec 7PM
Premier League 2 - Division 2
Southampton
2
Newcastle United
1
Smallbone [54'] Afolabi [62']
Roberts [75']
O'Connor (66') Slattery (70') Robise (89')
Referee: Josh Smith | Venue: Staplewood Campus | Attendance: 118

Southampton's youngsters battled their way to a second victory in four short days, with a 2-1 success over Premier League 2 rivals Newcastle at Staplewood.

With manager Ralph Hasenhüttl keeping an eye on proceedings once again, Radhi Jaïdi's side were equally as impressive as Tuesday night, despite the margin of victory being that bit smaller than the 3-0 registered against West Ham.

Will Smallbone opened the scoring 10 minutes into the second half, and deservedly so, having peppered the Newcastle goalmouth for much of the first period.

Jonathan Afolabi doubled Saints' advantage just after the hour mark, and the hosts appeared to be cruising, before conceding an untimely penalty kick, which was slammed home by visiting forward Callum Roberts.

Both sides had further opportunities to effect the scoreline, but Saints were reluctant to let their lead slip any further, and will be pleased to end the year with another hard-fought three points - lifting them, temporarily at least, into second in the PL2 table.

The hosts certainly began with promise, and enjoyed chances almost from the first whistle. Smallbone, architect turned scorer, was the player who looked most dangerous.

The midfielder crashed a shot from 20 yards off the woodwork in the 23rd minute, as well as leaving stopper Nathan Harker stranded with a long range drive just before the interval, that whisked marginally past the far post.

Patient and purposeful, his breakthrough arrived in the 55th minute, having been well found by Afolabi in the area. He took a touch to settle, before smashing past Harker, and claiming the goal his performance so richly deserved.

Seven minutes later, Saints had a second; this time Nathan Tella was the provider, with a jinxing run down the right that drew Newcastle's backline towards the ball, allowing Afolabi the space he needed centrally to find the bottom corner with a smart first-time finish.

There was time for reply from the visitors, who threatened a comeback after Roberts's 75th minute penalty. Tom O'Connor was adjudged to have been too forceful with substitute Rosarie Longelo inside the box, and the spot-kick was well despatched, sending Harry Lewis the wrong way, but wasn't really followed up with any immediate threat in the remaining minutes. 

Indeed, the hosts can be pleased with how they managed the tie thereafter, knowing that these three points were vital to this season's bid for promotion, and ending what has been a promising year on a real high.

Southampton

Head to Head Stats

Newcastle United
  • Possession (%)
    49
    51
  • Shots
    13
    6
  • Shots on target
    7
    3
  • Corners
    7
    0
  • Passes Complete
    284
    302

Southampton PL2

1
Harry Lewis (GK)
6
Christoph Klarer
4
Thomas O'Connor (C)
5
Aaron O'Driscoll
8
Harry Hamblin
3
Jake Vokins
2
Kayne Ramsay
Pascal Kpohomouh (94′)
10
Callum Slattery
9
Jonathan Afolabi
7
William Smallbone
11
Nathan Tella
Enzo Robise (79′)
16
Christian Norton
12
Pascal Kpohomouh
14
Alexandre Jankewitz
13
Jack Rose
15
Enzo Robise

Newcastle United PL2

1
Nathan Harker (GK)
6
Kelland Watts
3
Liam Gibson
2
Jamie Sterry
Rosarie Longelo (45′)
5
Owen Bailey (C)
8
Mohammed Sangare
Juanito (85′)
10
Callum Roberts
11
Adam Wilson
Yannick Toure (59′)
7
Thomas Allan
4
Matthew Longstaff
9
Elias Sorensen
15
Juanito
13
Otto Huuhtanen
16
Yannick Toure
12
Oisin McEntee
14
Rosarie Longelo
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